The Lady Elks softball team started off its 2017 season with a home game against Starmount last week. The Elks and the Rams battled through seven innings until Starmount came up with two runs in the top of the final inning to take a 4-2 win over the Elks.
In the first inning, Starmount was able to get on the board early with two runs. Kayla Vanhoy earned a single to left center field, and Kendall Crouch drove Vanhoy in as she hit a double to left field. With a 1-0 lead, Kendra King earned a single with a hit to left field that brought Crouch across the plate. The Rams had started off the game with a perfect inning to take a 2-0 lead.
While the Rams earned two runs in the first, Elkin earned one run in the bottom of the inning. Reagan Parks earned a single and was brought around the bases and Bayle Wood smashed the ball into left center field. Wood’s hit brought Parks across the plate and made the score 2-1. The Elks were unable to capitalize and bring Wood around the bases, as the next two batters struck out and the score remained 2-1.
In the second inning, both teams failed to carry its momentum over as both the Rams and the Elks went three-up three-down. In the third, the Rams went three-up three-down and the score remained 2-1. In the bottom of the third inning, Elkin was able to bring the momentum back up. Parks reached first base once again, and Wood also reached first. With runners on second and first and two outs, the team was counting on Mackenzie Tilley to bring the runners home. Tilley battled with Starmount’s pitcher, Vanhoy, until a full count. Vanhoy knew she didn’t want the bases loaded and threw a perfect pitch which Tilley barely missed hitting. At the end of the third, Vanhoy earned another strike-out and the Elks were headed back to the field with 2-1 deficit.
The sixth inning saw the Elks finally score the tying run and Chloe Osbourne was able to reach first base and make her way home with hits by Wood, and Casey Matthews. Matthews earned a double to right field, which brought Osbourne across the plate and advanced Wood to third. With a runner in scoring position, the Elks tried to capitalize but were unable to bring another run home.
With the score tied 2-2 and the sun beginning its decent, both teams wanted to come away with the first conference win of the year. Unfortunately for the Elks, Starmount came out swinging in the seventh inning and scored two runs. Rhi Patterson and Vanhoy were able to find home plate as Crouch came up with a double in the final inning to give Starmount a 4-2 lead.
The Rams turned on its defense in the bottom of the inning and allowed only one runner to reach base. The Rams were able to hang on to a 4-2 win to earn its first conference win of the season.
Aspen Shaw pitched seven innings for the Elks and earned 18 first pitch strikes, and eight strikeouts. Kayla Vanhoy pitched seven innings and earned 10 strikeouts for the Rams.
On the hitting side, Wood reached base four out of four times for the Elks. Parks reached base three times out of her four at-bats. Wood came up with three hits, and Parks had two. For the Rams, Crouch and King each had two hits, while Vanhoy and Triplett each had one hit.
The Elks move to 0-1 on the MVAC. Starmount moves to 1-0.